August’s meeting at Lord Warkworth Lodge No 1829, which meets at Amble Masonic Hall, traditionally sees Northumberland Freemasons travel far and wide from across the Province to attend. On this occasion they were treated to a special celebration when one of the members, W.Bro Ray Harmer, celebrated 50 years of uninterrupted service in the Craft.
Ray was initiated into Freemasonry in 1973, when he joined Lord Warkworth Lodge and served as Master of the Lodge in 2021-2022, yes that’s 49 years after his Intiation!
During his time in the Lodge Ray has been an invaluable asset covering any, and every, position and undertaking them to the highest standard. Ray was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge in 2004 when he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Grand Steward. He was Exhalted into Lord Warkworth Royal Arch Chapter in 1975 and occupied the Chair on 3 occasions in 2004, 2015 and 2019. For his dedication and hard work in the Chapter Ray was awarded the rank of Past Provincial Assistant Grand Sojourner in 2014.
He was born in East Chevington in 1945 and started his working life as a electrical engineer at Hauxley Colliery, subsequently attending Newcastle Polytechnic where he gained a First Class Honours Degree in electrical engineering. This led Ray to work all over the globe with a memorable 3 years working in Saudi Arabia for Aramco.
With Ray’s busy work life, family commitments and assisting elderly neighbours, he was unable to take office in the Lodge and maintained the role of a Steward, eventually taking office and quickly building a reputation for his ritual. Unfortunately, when Ray was Senior Warden, he was diagnosed with a serious illness that delayed him attaining the Masters Chair for a year. Undeterred, and a year later, and 49 years practice and hard work he finally attained the Chair of Master.
During the presentation of his 50 year certificate Assistant Provincal Grand Master, W.Bro Dr Greg Smith, had a surprise for Ray in the guise of a field promotion to Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, followed up with a further presentation of a collar and badge of his new office.
Everyone at Lord Warkworth Lodge, and Northumberland Freemasons in general, would like to congratulate Ray on completing 50 years service uninterrupted to the Craft and on his well deserved field promotion.
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